Monthly Archives: September 2009

At the Library

This, friends, is one of the “real-time” musings that I want to post more frequently — indeed, that was one of the motives for converting from my old website to this online journal on WordPress.

It’s Saturday morning at ten, and I just settled into a comfy table and chair at the Allen Public Library, a couple of miles from home (streets were too wet for the bike, so I motored here). As I walked through the door, the big wave of pleasant library memories washed over me. The public library is, simply, one of the great American institutions, and it has done wonders for me.

My first library was less than 700 feet (yep, I just measured it on Google Earth!) from home in Edina, Minnesota. It was in an old house, with a newer addition in the rear. At first I went with my mother (who read a lot), then by myself — not a lot of risk in a 700-foot journey! And the other libraries through the years, the wonderful Minneapolis Public Library, a bus ride away, then the great Wilson Library at the University of Minnesota (where, among other things, I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation), the Library of Congress, the State Library of New South Wales (where I stopped in 2004 to do some airline work while teaching for a couple of days), just a couple of months ago the great British Library in London, and so many more.

The library is awesome on many levels, not least as a gateway for those who aspire to a better life. Indeed, on other days my fellow patrons here at the APL include lots of folks who appear to be doing job research. And just this morning, the fellow who walked in before me, a young black man wearing an English Football jersey, had an African accent and carried a thick binder. I mused that he was studying for some sort of exam. Pass it, and life improves.

It’s time to get back to work, but one more comment: it is these sorts of things — a gleaming, well-equipped library, connected with book and Internet to the larger world — that make me happy to pay taxes. The residential property taxes in Allen are high, but for this palace of learning, well worth it. My conservative friends need to spend more time here.

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25 Years in the Airline Business

On September 10, 1984, Linda drove me to Republic Airlines (it was the first job I could not access via public transit, and I didn’t buy a car until the following weekend). I woke up this morning, 25 years later, in the same business. A long time.

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A quarter-century later, here are ten things I know about the business and my decision to remain in it:

1. That my original “two tests” were right on; after I finished business school, my two tests for where to go to work were 1) the job had to be geographical, to use my background; and 2) the job had to be complex. The airline business has met both tests every day.

2. That our mission is not air transportation. It is getting people together quickly, safely, and reliably. As I often describe in my speeches and lectures, we find enormous joy in keeping promises: to the businesswoman who said she’d be home for her daughter’s 7 p.m. basketball game; to transport a family to a week’s vacation in Hawaii, and back home, in the time it took to get there only 50 years ago; and, best, of all, to facilitate hugs between grandparents and grandchildren, between old friends, between lovers, and many, many other people.

3. That we’re able to do all this at prices far lower than in the past is truly remarkable. These 25 years have seen the democratization of air travel, and putting our service within reach of nearly everyone makes me happy and proud. In a land that prides itself on democracy, variously defined, that is a stunning achievement.

4. That I’ve been lucky to have worked with mentors at three airlines, old hands who have helped make sense of the business and helped me move forward in it: Jim Giancola at Republic; Arnold Grossman at Republic, then American; and Bob Crandall, Bob Baker, and Jane Allen, at American. I should also mention Malcolm Noden, a former BOAC agent then Cornell professor, who propelled me into the classroom to share my knowledge with others.

5. That beyond those pivotal folk are hundreds of colleagues, in the next office and around the world, who have made these great places to work. Belonging is a powerful human need, and from 9/10/84 I have always felt deeply that I was “on the team.” I thank all who have welcomed me to the team bench, provided support during the many crises (the anniversary of September 11 is tomorrow), and celebrated some wins.

6. That change is good. About a decade ago, I began to describe ours as a business where more happens in a month than happens at other big firms in a whole year. To embrace that amount of change helps us in other parts of our lives, and to better understand the world.

7. That it has been a privilege to work for honorable companies in a time when corporate dishonor seems to be the rule. The high standards of the airline business derive from an unwavering commitment to precise consistency in operations; from the pivotal influence of old chiefs like C.R. Smith and new ones like Gerard Arpey; and from eighty years of intrusive federal regulation – it has been way excessive, but it has also nurtured our impulse to do the right thing.

8. That airline managerial culture, while filled with many positive elements, is also laden with all sorts of old baggage. Although losing suitcases is generally bad, we need to lose that bad old baggage. Our collective inability to greatly reduce tarmac delays is a perfect contemporary example.

9. That an industry that has become indispensible to the way we live remains on very wobbly foundations. We have got to find a way to steady that base, to generate the consistent earnings that will make it possible to keep the promises to all our stakeholders.

10. That this morning, and every morning for 25 years, even on September 12, 2001, I woke up excited about going to work. I am a lucky person.

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“I Think We Can Build a Better Airplane”

On the 1st of September, I headed to the airport and flew to Seattle. P1090212The Transport Geek was in fine form that day, headed to see The Boeing Company – to the 737 production line, then, the following day, on a test flight for aircraft serial number 31075, a brand-new, $70-million Boeing 737-800. In 1915, after his first trip into the sky, William Boeing, son of a German immigrant who made a fortune in the Minnesota timber industry, said “I think we can build a better airplane.” And for the next near-century, that company has done just that, creating a succession of aircraft that flew faster and safer, that secured our freedom, and that made it possible for ordinary people to get across our nation in five hours, or back to the Old World in eight. Boeing is not without warts, no company or person is, but they are to be admired on many levels.

The reality of my forthcoming separation from American Airlines made the trip all the more special, and a bit urgent. In four months, no one in a Boeing ball cap would hold up a sign with my name on it, as Carl did when we arrived at Sea-Tac, as locals call their airport. We ambled to the parking lot, hopped in a navy Suburban, and motored north to the factory in suburban Renton. Just before two, I met Brett Churchill, Boeing’s lead customer engineer for American, an affable fellow Minnesotan. Off we went, into the plant. I marveled at everything: the way-efficient moving production line (way better than the old static process), the assembly kits that combined parts and tools for each task; the accumulated know-how that made it all possible. And most of all, I admired the proud men and women who built those magnificent machines. I asked each one I met at least two key questions: how long had they worked at Boeing? And were they proud of their work? The answer to the latter was always emphatically yes. And that made me smile.

Brett took me along the line, from the fuselages (which come from Wichita, Kansas, by train), to the finished product rolled out the big doors. I saw some cool stuff, like the process of mating wings and body. Brett was sort of a classic engineer, quiet but very knowledgeable. I enjoyed the visit immensely. Truth was, I could have ambled around the plant for six months, learning, asking, maybe even doing. Toward the end, I picked up a rivet, my souvenir of the visit. Only downside: no photos allowed on the premises.

Carl drove me to my digs, a Travelodge (this trip was on my dime, so $60 a night felt just fine). Quickly changed into sneakers and walked a few blocks south to the P1090148Tukwila station of Sound Transit, a light-rail line that whisked me into downtown Seattle in 25 minutes. Closer in, one of those sad but common Seattle scenes: a wino gets on and topples to the floor. The city has long had a problem with drifters and addicts.

Hopped off at Westlake, possibly the most elegant public-transit station in the U.S., to rival the chandeliered stations of the Moscow subway. P1090150
Wow, I thought, these folks are spending on infrastructure, a good thing. I ambled a few blocks west to one of Seattle’s greatest places, Pike Place Market, a 102-year-old public mP1090174arket, brimming with produce from land and sea. Colorful wreathsP1090168 of chilies, fresh Alaskan halibut, Gerber daisies, blackberries from nearby farms. Way, way cool. Stopped to admire the “market theater” at the Pike Place Fish Market, fishmongers playing catch with a five-pound salmon, to the delight of tourists. I had to buy one of their vinyl aprons, the second souvenir of the day.P1090165

I was thirsty, and headed up a flight of stairs to the Pike Place Bar and Grill, for a pint of Hale’s Troll Porter, from nearby Ballard. It was nice to be back in the land of tiny brewers, producers of such variety and quality. Quenched, I walked a block north to Pine Street, to Steelhead Diner, a place I found on the Internet. Awesome. Whoa. One of the best dinners in months, maybe a couple of years: four slurpy oysters from Totten Island, at the bottom of Puget Sound; a nice chunk of King Salmon pulled from the Klamath River of northern California; a side of braised collard greens; and two glasses of really hoppy Supergoose IPA, also from the Hale’s Brewery.

At right, Kevin Davis, chef/owner, Steelhead Diner

At right, Kevin Davis, chef/owner, Steelhead Diner

At the end of the meal, I had a nice yak with Kevin Davis, the chef/owner, the smiling man I saw in the kitchen that was ten feet from my stool. I ambled down to an overlook, snapped a couple of pictures of sunset above the Olympic Mountains, hopped on the train, and headed back to the Travelodge.

The alarm went off before six, test-flight day! At 6:02, my iPhone rang, Jack telling me he was on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. No great business breakthrough – nor a scandal – just his illustration and a nice quote about those way-too-long receipts that stores now issue. I laughed about it all day. Showered, out the door, and onto the #174 bus (my dime, er, $2, rather than a $20 taxi) down the hill to the Boeing Customer Delivery Center at Boeing Field (BFI). Collected my badge at the gate and headed in. First stop, the cafeteria for a yogurt, apple fritter, and tub of coffee. Then upstairs to meet Darrell Boyd and Joe Walker, the AA quality-assurance team, then a number of Boeing people. We were not going to leave at the planned 8:00, because they had to change out a failed hydraulic pump. P1090205At about 9:30, we headed out to the flight line, past fresh 737s for Continental, Ryanair, Turkmenistan, Xiamen, China United, Copa Panama, and others. And there was our Silver Bird, N805NN, way cool. I snapped a bunch of pictures, yakked with Boeing people. More delays.

Captain John Fossard from American was in the left seat and Captain Sheila Beahm from Boeing was in the right seat on a flight that ATC called “Boeing 216.” P1090229They stepped through some very basic stuff – via a radio to a Boeing guy on the ground, they asked for visual confirmation of control inputs to rudder, elevators, and ailerons, the three devices that move the plane on all three axes. “Rudder left, tab right,” and so forth. Basic, but it’s that kind of deliberate approach that makes flying so safe. Assume is a bad thing in flight.P1090213

We were finally ready. Start engines, taxi to the end of runway 14. Whoosh, up we went. Flight! Cool! We headed northwest, across the Olympic Peninsula, looped back over Seattle, then headed east. Tested oxygen masks (pressurized to 14,500 feet, instead of the usual 8K). Did a touch and go at Moses Lake, Washington, came around and called off a landing at 500 feet (cockpit recorded voice yelling “Don’t Sink! Don’t Sink!). Headed back to BFI. Landed and slowed very quickly. The runway is long, so we then did an aborted takeoff, accelerating to 90 knots, then full brakes and thrust reversers. An amazing machine. William Boeing was right about building a better airplane. The whole ride was 2:20. Way cool, way cool.

Twenty minutes before landing, a warning light glowed, possible overheating in the left wing root. Bad news. Gotta fix it before American accepts delivery. Glum folks. We got off the plane and walked around, the QA guys spotting almost-invisible fluid leaks and other stuff. These guys know their hardware!

Jacob, a St. Louis-based AA flight attendant who was part of the acceptance team drove me back to Sea-Tac, and I climbed on a “regular” flight back to DFW. Wowie, what an experience.

As cool as the technical aspects of the ride were, as a geographer I was equally delighted with the landscape below. Looking down, I remembered a wonderful quote from author and pilot William Langewiesche; in his 1998 book Inside the Sky, he wrote, “Flight’s greatest gift is to let us look around, and when we do we can find ourselves reflected within the sky.” Here is just a bit of what I saw in Washington State:

Glaciers, Olympic Mountains, west of Seattle

Glaciers, Olympic Mountains, west of Seattle

Mt. Rainier (14,411 feet / 4,394 m), highest point in the U.S. Pacific Northwest

Mt. Rainier (14,411 feet / 4,394 m), highest point in the U.S. Pacific Northwest

The Columbia River, north of Pasco, Washington

The Columbia River, north of Pasco, Washinton

Irrigated land northwest of Pasco

Irrigated land northwest of Pasco, Washington

Clear-cutting in the Cascades

Clear-cutting in the Cascades

Seattle panorama, on approach to Boeing Field

Seattle panorama, on approach to Boeing Field

Downtown Seattle

Downtown Seattle

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To the North Shore of Lake Superior and the Minnesota State Fair

Two weeks later, on the 27th, I flew north to Minneapolis. It was, again, State Fair time. Picked up a car and pointed north, to spend a day or so on my beloved North Shore of Lake Superior before heading to the Fair. It was a perfect summer day in Minnesota. It’s often said that the state has two seasons, winter and road construction, and I got caught in the latter, major work on Interstate 35, which slowed me way down. But by 12:30 I was tucking into a bowl of soup and then a big-as-your-head caramel roll at Tobie’s, halfway to the big lake. It was such a treat to crest the hill above Duluth and get the first glimpse of that vast inland sea (I think I’ve written here, perhaps many times, that Superior contains 10% of the world’s fresh water). In fact, it was thrilling, way cool. I cued one of my favorite Minnesota artists on my new iPhone, mandolinist Peter Ostroushko, who plucked as I rolled down the steep hill into Duluth. On the horizon were big ships, the aerial bridge, grain elevators, rail yards, all the stuff of a port.

I stopped in Two Harbors, at the office and store of the Superior Hiking Trail Association, the folks who have built and maintained the awesome trail that runs from Duluth 150 miles northeast to the Canadian border. P1090048Bought a map and some lovely note cards, visited briefly with a volunteer, then headed 10 miles more to Castle Danger, then up a dirt road to the trail. Did a brisk three-mile hike to an overlook to try my legs and my new hiking boots.

Crow Creek (dry) bed, near Castle Danger

Crow Creek (dry) bed, near Castle Danger

All worked fine (though my knees were sore the rest of the day). Got back in the car and drove another 75 minutes to Grand Marais, seat of Cook County and a place I’ve known and loved since 1957. The weather changed quickly, from scattered clouds to total cloud to light rain.

Checked into the Trailside Cabins, which I found on line, and specifically to cabin #2, called Tiny Tim, which truly was small, and totally northwoods. P1090056Simple, perhaps spartan, but the room was clean, the bed was firm, and the hot shower was reviving. Headed into town at six, ambling around the usual haunts – to the bay by the old East Bay Hotel, then south to Artists’ Point and out along the breakwaterwhere Jack and his buddies waded for coins almost a decade earlier. Indeed, I called Jack to report that there was a lot of booty in one to two feet of water!P1080959

Artists' Point

Artists' Point

Ambled back into town, to the Gunflint Tavern, for a pint of Summit Stout (from St. Paul), and a yak with stoolmates on both sides, then a couple blocks west for a superb dinner of local whitefish at Chez Jude, a wonderful small restaurant I first visited two years earlier, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of my first trip to these parts. I visited briefly with chef/owner Judi Barsness, which was fun. You always know you’re going to get a good meal when the chef is the owner, and is on the job. A reminder that foodservice is a tough business. By the end of the meal, I was plumb wore out.

Historic sign marking the start of the Gunflint Trail

Historic sign marking the start of the Gunflint Trail

I was tired because I woke up in the middle of the night, and couldn’t get back to sleep. Rare, but for a reason: the day before, American told me that they were not going to renew my contract, which was the foundation of my one-man business. Without those dollars as a base, I just don’t think I can keep on trying to build a life as an independent consultant. So another chapter of life is coming, a new opportunity. My job this fall will be to find a new job. It will happen.

Got back to the Tiny Tim cabin. The light rain was still falling, and it was 58º. I was freezing, but I kept the windows open. Brushed my teeth and climbed under the covers to bring this journal up to date (the laptop served as a sort of bedwarmer, welcome indeed). It had been a good day in this special part of the world. I am a Texan, naturalized and acclimated and proud, but there are also solid roots in Minnesota, especially in the north.

Slept hard. Up before six, in light rain, out the door, intending to do a pretty long hike that morning. Stopped at the Erickson gas station for a coffee, donut, and yogurts, then north on Highway 61, 20 miles to Hovland, and up 3 miles on the Arrowhead Trail (at that point, I was less than eight miles from Canada).

On the Superior Hiking Trail, above Hovland

On the Superior Hiking Trail, above Hovland

I wore shorts and my Gore-Tex rain jacket. Onto the trail, a truly a wonderful route, classic North Shore: up and down, across the faces of huge rock outcrops, curious mushrooms and fungi, small fields of lichens, views of the lake (well, you could sort of see it). About 1.5 miles in, I was already soaked and my socks were too low, causing some chafing. A good time to turn around. Was back at the car at 8:10. I brought a towel from home, which was welcome; dried my head and face, ate the breakfast, and drove back to Tiny Tim. The hot shower was truly therapeutic.

Motored back down the hill into town. First stop was Joynes’ Department Store, a fixture in Grand Marais, loaded with great stuff. Bought a pair of Wigwam brand hiking socks, telling the clerk it was out of sequence – I already had the blisters! Then to Sivertson’s, an art gallery that through the years has supplied us with wonderful local art. Bought a little coaster with a bear on it. There was some wonderful art, but I was due at the State Fair art show the next day, hoping to find a nice piece of work. And another thing: seeing the lovely scenes of the North Shore made me a little gloomy about having to sell our place up here. We miss it.

The lady at Sivertson’s directed me to the local (and much better) version of Starbucks, the Java Moose. The rain resumed, so I motored over and ambled in. The crowd was a mix of locals and hiking-boot tourists. Comfy, good coffee, and free wireless, so I worked my e-mail, then brought this journal up to date. The window offered a wonderful view of the harbor. The U.S. and Coast Guard flags were straight out from the northeast wind. Winter was coming!

Classic Minnesota pothole, parking lot, Betty's Pies

Classic Minnesota pothole, parking lot, Betty's Pies

I drove back down the shore to Betty’s Pies, not far from our former log house, for a tuna sandwich and a slice of her famous pie. Bought Jack a T-shirt. I had some extra time, so I drove few miles on to Two Harbors. In dozens of trips along Lake Superior over five decades, I had never been into downtown, nor down to the vast iron-ore docks (the Mesabi Range, 70 miles northwest, was once the richest iron deposit in the world, and it has helped fuel U.S. industry for decades).
Lake County Courthouse

Lake County Courthouse

I meandered around, snapping a picture of the Lake County Courthouse, with a dome covered in silver tiles in a fish-scale pattern, then down to the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range train depot (1907), an august structure. The Transport Geek snapped pictures of steam locomotives,
The Mallet's drive wheels

The Mallet's drive wheels

including a Mallet, largest of its kind in the world (600 tons, whoa!).
The Edna G. and iron-ore loading docks

The Edna G. and iron-ore loading docks

Drove down to admire the huge, elevated ore docks (the ore drops in chutes into “lakers,” the big vessels that ply the Great Lakes), then over to the lighthouse, now a B&B.P1090098

At 2:30 I met friend Bob Ryan for a cup of coffee in Duluth. Bob is a resort developer (he sold us the log house), Notre Dame classmate of Cousin Jim, and all around good guy. I had not seen him for seven years, and it was good to catch up. An hour later, I crossed the harbor, south into Superior, Wisconsin, and took a last look at that big lake (how big? well, it holds 10% of the world’s fresh water, that big).

Superior the city was down on its luck. Industrial jobs gone, downtown looked like a small version of Detroit. Being Wisconsin, bars seemed to be the anchor of the economy.

Not a lot of change in Superior

Not a lot of change in Superior

Sad. I headed south 65 miles on Wisconsin Highway 35, passing a tavern about every five miles (how do they all stay in business?).

At five, I rolled into The Lodge, the big lake home of friend Mark Lacek, who I’ve known since I joined Republic Airlines in 1984. Hadn’t seen him in years, either, nor met his wife Susan, and young daughters Emmy and Alli. Mark and I repaired to comfy chairs to catch up. He’s one of the most imaginative people I’ve ever met, simply full of ideas, many of which he has built into great businesses. Business journalists would describe him as a serial entrepreneur, and that’s sort of right, but it doesn’t really capture his creativity and spark. Nor would it capture his good humor, solid values, and sense of giving back.

About a decade ago, Mark and Susan lost a nearly-born daughter, Faith. Their devastation – the nightmare of any parent – led to the creation of Faith’s Lodge (near their lake place), a place where family and friends grieving after loss of a child can go to find comfort and perhaps some measure of peace in the woods. After dinner (we headed out for a Wisconsin tradition, the Friday fish fry), Mark played a song he recently wrote about their loss. Yep, he’s a songwriter and musician, just planted a vineyard and orchard, and so forth. As I discovered on a plane ride to L.A. in 1985, Mark just wears you out with his ideas! I am lucky to know him. Between Bob and Mark, it was a day with people with very strong values and a lot of drive.

Was up the next morning at 5:30. State Fair time! P1090106Pedal to the metal, and was back in St. Paul and onto the fairgrounds before eight, smiling broadly, jumping inwardly. So cool, back again. I headed over to the animal barns for a quick look at poultry and sheep, then back across the site to the art show, which opened at nine. As regular readers know, Linda and I have bought a piece of art there many times in the past 25 years. For 2009, the deal was different: you bought and paid for the art on the spot, then would pick it up after the fair closed. Once again, the iPhone proved to be amazing – I snapped pictures of three candidates, two watercolors and a pastel, and e-mailed them to Linda. I had favored one, and she picked that one, so it was unanimous – “Country Road,” a watercolor by Judy Fawcett of suburban Woodbury.

I spent more time in the art show than in previous years, some of it with one of the staff members, artist David Steineck, who kindly led another fellow and I on a tour of the works he found most notable and intriguing. David’s knowledge and basic (not highfalutin’) perspective made for a really nice time.

With the art task done, I ambled through the Creative Activities building, pausing to chat with three woodcarvers, among them P1090110Harley Pierce, carving a plate of basswood in a Swiss style. So much talent on display there – weavers, knitters, carvers, furniture makers, cooks, oh my. After that, a chat with a stranger on a park bench, then over to listen to some teen drummers from Sheltered Reality, a group formed to help alienated kids belong. Well, okay, it was more than listening – they asked for 20 volunteers from the audience to join, and up I went. I got a free CD for my enthusiasm.P1090120

That worked up a thirst, and at noon I found a chair in the beer garden, and a large glass of Summit Ale. There were four chairs at the table, so I invited Philip and Diana to sit down. This was Talking to Strangers paradise. They stayed awhile, then it was Jenn and Clint. Last was Elizabeth.

Elizabeth, who wanted to talk

Elizabeth, who wanted to talk

She was eating a hot dog and looking like she needed a chair, so I invited her to sit down. She was long widowed. She wanted to talk, and I was glad to listen. We visited a long time, about her kids, her life, her neighborhood in northeast Minneapolis (she had lived in the same house for 43 years), and about the fact that she and a band of girlfriends have visited Vegas every year since 1961! I stayed two hours.

Headed back to the animal barns, engaging 4-H members who were washing and grooming their sheep and cattle. A teenage girl was brushing Jade, an 18-month-old Jersey heifer. I mentioned that it seemed rare to raise anything other than a black and white Holstein. “Why no,” she said proudly, “Jerseys are the second-largest dairy breed in the U.S.” I gently pressed her for the numbers: 93% of the nation’s milk cows are black and white, and 5% are Jerseys. Truth is, the 4-H show at the fair gives city folks a distorted and misleading picture – industrial agriculture is far less diverse than it appears.

Junk sculpture made entirely of stuff the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources hauled from state lakes and streams

Junk sculpture made entirely of stuff the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources hauled from state lakes and streams

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Ambled through the swine barn, then had a nice, longer conversation with Aaron Marquette and his mom Lisa, who raise Texel sheep just west of Minneapolis. They’re trying to sell directly to consumers, and we talked about the challenges of modern animal husbandry. Prices were good, 97 cents a pound, and the Texels (named for their place of origin, one of the Friesian islands in the Netherlands, a place I visited on my first trip to Europe in 1971) grew fast, reaching market weight of 110 to 130 pounds in four months. Chatted briefly with Merv Dobson from Nolalu, Ontario, a hamlet west of Thunder Bay (and less than 50 miles from where I hiked the day before). Merv was down to show his Clydesdale draft horse, Rex.

Blue-ribbon-winning felt mittens

Blue-ribbon-winning felt mittens

Walked back to the Creative Activities building for another quick look-see, ogling some absolutely stunning glass works by Mr. and Mrs. Engebretson, and some wonderful woolens. It was 4:30. I had stayed longer than I had in years, and was worn out. At six I met Bud Jensen, my 12th-grade English teacher, and his wife Jinny, for dinner in our old neighborhood in St. Paul. Had a great and fun meal. Bed that night was in the Radisson Plaza Hotel downtown, booked when Linda was planning to come with me). Lights were out before 9:30.

Up at six, out the door into 49º cool, nice, then out around the gorgeous lakes of south Minneapolis,

Lake Harriet

Lake Harriet

and to breakfast with high-school classmate Claudia Gisselbeck Sutherland at Zumbro Café in the swell Linden Hills neighborhood. Good to catch up with Claudia. At 9:30 it was pedal to the metal to the airport, with a couple of fast detours around road construction. Home by 2:30. I packed a lot into three days!

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